postedby winecountrydog Tilin Corgi
Humans say that another year has gone by. This does make one's old dogself feel contempawlative.
Our best wishes to you for the coming year, dear furriends!
2 days ago
The life of the open sea -- miles beyond sight of land -- is various, strangely beautiful, and wholly unknown to all but a fortunate few. Book Two is the story of a true sea rover -- a mackerel -- from birth in the great ocean nursery of the surface waters . . . to membership in a wandering school of mackerel subject to the depredations of fish-eating birds, large fishes, and man.An unfinished story, the ending for which awaits you in this beautiful book. Under the Sea-Wind is still in print and is unmatched in its sensitive, accurate observations of sealife.
Between the Chesapeake Capes and the elbow of Cape Cod . . . in the blue haze of the continent's edge, the mackerel tribes lie in torpor during the four coldest months of winter, resting from the eight months of strenuous life in the upper waters. On the threshold of the deep seas they live on the fat stored up from a summer's rich feeding, and toward the end of their winter's sleep their bodies begin to grow heavy with spawn.
In the month of April the mackerel are roused from their sleep as they lie at the edge of the continental shelf, off the Capes of Virginia. Perhaps the currents that drift down to bathe the resting places of the mackerel stir in the fish some dim perception of the progress of the ocean's seasons -- the old, unchanging cycle of the sea. For weeks now the cold, heavy surface water -- the winter water -- has been sinking, slipping under and displacing the warmer bottom water. The warm water is rising, carrying into the surface rich loads of phosphates and nitrates from the bottom. Spring sun and fertile water are wakening the dormant plants to a burst of activity, of growth and multiplication. Spring comes to the land with pale, green shoots and swelling buds; it brings to the sea a great increase in the number of simple, one-celled plants of microscopic size, the diatoms. Perhaps the currents bring down to the mackerel some awareness of the flourishing vegetation of the upper waters, of the rich pasturage for hordes of crustaceans that browse in the diatom meadows and in their turn fill the water with clouds of their goblin-headed young.
. . .
Perhaps, also, the currents moving over the place where the mackerel lie carry a message of the inpouring of fresh waters as ice and snow dissolve in floods to rush down the coastal rivers to the sea. . . . But however the feeling of awakening spring comes to the dormant fishes, the mackerel stir in swift response. Their caravans begin to form and to move through the dim-lit water, and by thousands and hundreds of thousands they set out for the upper sea.
. . .
In time the shoreward-running mackerel reach the inshore waters, where they ease their bodies of their burden of eggs and milt. . . . There are known to be hundreds of millions of eggs to the square mile . . . hundreds of trillions in the whole spawning area.
. . .
So it came about that Scomber, the mackerel, was born in the surface waters of the open sea, seventy miles to the south by east from the western tip of Long Island. He came into being as a tiny globule no larger than a poppy seed, drifting in the surface layers of pale-green water. The globule carried an amber droplet of oil that served to keep it afloat and it carried also a gray particle of living matter so small that it could have been picked up on the point of a needle. In time this particle was to become Scomber, the mackerel, a powerful fish, streamlined after the manner of his kind, and a rover of the seas.
. . .
In the first night of their existence more than ten out of every hundred mackerel eggs either had been eaten . . . or, from some inherent weakness, had died. . . .
. . .
The floating mackerel eggs were scattered and buffeted. . . . Again the egg that contained the embryonic Scomber had drifted unscathed while all above him other eggs had been seized and eaten.
. . .
. . . the surface currents of the sea were pouring steadily to the southwest, driven by the wind and carrying with them the clouds of plankton. During the six days since the spawning of the mackerel the toll of the ocean's predators had continued without abatement, so that already more than half of the eggs had been eaten or had died in development.
. . .
On the sixth night after the spawning of the mackerel the tough little skins of the eggs began to burst. One by one the tiny fishlets, so small that the combined length of twenty of them, head to tail, would have been scarcely an inch, slipped out of the confining spheres and knew for the first time the touch of the sea. Among these hatching fish was Scomber. . . .
"Commercial red meat production for the United States [in August 2011] totaled 4.30 billion pounds ... Cattle slaughter totaled 3.10 million head ... Calf slaughter totaled 79,900 head. ... Sheep slaughter totaled 198,200 head. ..."Did any of these millions of animal furriends live pleasant pastoral lives or die a peaceful death?
"The [Border Collie] is bred as a working dog. ... They're an incredible working partner. It's a real privilege to work with a dog. ... And our dogs all live in the house. ... My mum used to say 'They'll never work if you spoil them like that' 'cause she was from an old farming family in England. ... In the UK ... it's really an art ... among the old shepherd and farmers.High paw for Elissa Thau! A gentle, wise, and caring human.
"The dogs don't need to bite to move sheep. ... They move sheep with the power of their eye and their presence ... and the fact they have quiet power.
"... And the whole point of raising sheep the way that we raise them it is to raise them quietly and humanely. . . .
"It's a hard thing to kill a lamb or a cow. ... We actually take ours down to the butcher, and then they're killed there quickly and humanely. . . .
"It's a very serious thing to kill an animal. ... People should take it very seriously. They shouldn't be expecting to eat meat seven days a week, two times a day. ... It just becomes agribusiness, greed, and suffering. . . .
"Who wants to eat an animal that's been standing in a feedlot ... through the winter with no shelter . . .? . . . I don't eat any meat that I don't know where it's come from. . . .
"Have you ever read Henry Beston? He wrote [The Outermost House] ... 'Animals are not brethren, they're not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in this net of life and time, [fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.]' And hopefully we treat them that way too."
“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by a complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge, seeing thereby a feather magnified, the whole image in distortion.
We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man.
In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.
They are not brethren. They are not underlings. They are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
"The thing about twitter is, some people you just click with straight away ... you feel you are real friends with someone you have never met, but feel you know them. And how easy it is to talk to people you can't see."
Why the World Likes Dogs
The most unselfish living thing in the world is your dog. If you are in danger, your dog needs only to hear your cry of distress to rush to your aid, without thought of his own life, fearless of guns and enemies.
The most patient thing in the world is your dog, waiting for hours at the top of the stairs to hear the sound of your footsteps, never complaining however late you may be.
The most grateful thing in the world is your dog. Whatever you give him, whatever you do for him, he never is guilty of ingratitude. To him you are the most powerful personage in the world and beyond censure; you are your dog's god; you can do no wrong.
The most friendly thing in the world is your dog. Of all the animal kingdom, he alone serves man without whip, without compulsion, glad to be by the side of his master wherever he may be, whatever he may do, and sad in heart when his master is away.
The most forgiving thing in the world is your dog. The one virtue most humans lack is forgiveness. But your dog carries no grudge and no spite. Punish him even undeservedly, and he comes to you, nudges his moist nose into your hand, looks up at you with pleading eyes, and wags his tail hesitatingly as tho to say, "Oh, come on, let's be pals again."
The most loyal thing in the world is your dog. Whether you come home from Congress or from jail, whether you have lost your fortune or made a million, whether you return dressed in fashion's height or in rags, whether you have been hailed a hero or condemned as criminal, your dog is waiting for you with a welcoming bark of delight, a wagging tail and a heart that knows no guile.
The world likes dogs because dogs are nearest to moral perfection of all living things.
--By Capt. Will Judy, Editor of Dog World magazine